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Latest update: COVID-19 and the Community Services sector

The Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) releases a regular update with latest news and information related to the community services sector and COVID-19. Here is the latest update, released 22 April 2020: 


The Senate has established a cross-party committee to scrutinise Australia's response to COVID-19. The Committee has begun accepting submissions on any matter relating to this broad topic. Read more.


The Minister for Child Protection, Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan, has recorded a message of thanks for "all the marvellous workers and carers" on the frontline of the community sector response to COVID-19. Watch here.


The Federal Health Department has released a formal Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability during COVID-19. The plan  provides high-level guidance on a range of factors that need to be considered in managing and preventing the transmission of COVID-19 for people with disability.


The Disability Royal Commission is seeking information about the experiences of people with disability during COVID-19 and the recent summer bushfires. It's released an Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper questioning how to improve the safety and wellbeing of people with disability during similar emergencies in the future. It also asks what should be done to ensure people with disability are not at risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation during emergencies.

COVID-19 Issues Alerts

VCOSS has now released five Issues Alerts, designed to help inform public discussion and guide government action on policy issues relating to the Coronavirus crisis:

1 Confronting family violence during lockdown. April 16th

2 Energy hardship with everybody at home. April 15th

3 Household lockdown for diverse households. April 13th

Six things to think about as we (rightly) ban evictions March 31st

5 Eight things to consider as we shut schools.  March 22nd


Community sector organisations can now register for the Victorian Government's Working for Victoria job creation program. This scheme helps workers who have lost jobs as a consequence of COVID-19, and other Victorians seeking work, to find new opportunities in critical roles supporting the community.  The government will pay each worker's salary plus on-costs for six months. Some large organisations have already been directly invited to submit proposals, but others can do so at any time. 

VCOSS ASSISTANCE:  VCOSS can help community organisations identify and design job opportunities. VCOSS will also work with community sector peaks to identify cross-sector opportunities. Email Deb Fewster and/or Jarrod Lenne for guidance or advice.


The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (TAASE) at the University of South Australia is mapping current demands and 'pressure points' facing the community sector as we respond to the spread of COVID-19. The data gathered will be used for rapid advocacy. Access the survey.


The open source online graphics website Canva has released a series of free COVID-19 related images and design templates for organisations. Learn more.

VCOSS does not provide health or legal advice. The best place to access up-to-date health advice remains dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus 

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